Located in Hoa Binh province (140 km from Hanoi), Mai Chau is one of the best highlights in the North of Vietnam. The destination is considered as the best place to explore the life of Vietnamese ethnic groups, especially Thai ethnic people. Mai Chau is also a great place for biking, trekking and homestay at stilt houses. Let’s find out all things of Mai Chau with Holidaytoindochina!
Best time to visit Mai Chau:
You can visit Mai Chau all time of the year. However, the best time to visit Mai Chau is from October to April, because outside of these times, the weather in Mai Chau becomes hotter, especially from June to August while many homestays don’t have air-conditioner, even electricity at night.
How to get Mai Chau?
Mai Chau has no airport and train station so you can get Mai Chau by private car, bus or motorbike only. On the way to Mai Chau, you can stop to visit Hoa Binh hydropower plant and Giang Mo ethnic village.
You can take a bus to get Mai Chau from Hanoi at My Dinh bus station. Most buses start at 06:00 - 07:30 am, or 14:00 - 14:30 with the cost of 80,000 – 100,000 VND. The journey takes around 4 hours.
From Hoa Binh city, there are many buses to Mai Chau. If you want to village some ethnic villages, you can walk in 15 minutes or take a motorbike taxi (Xe Om).
By private car or motorbike:
If you want to get Mai Chau by private car or motorbike, you can go along Lang – Hoa Lac highway from Hanoi. And it takes about 4 – 5 hours depending on the weather and your speed.
However, the best way to get Mai Chau is rent a private car with a driver. Although this way is more expensive than others, it’s safer and faster if you get Mai Chau the first time.
Things to do and see in Mai Chau:
Trekking or biking to visit ethnic villages: visiting ethnic villages is the best highlight in Mai Chau. You can walk or bike around the villages to see the daily life of ethnic people. Here are two ethnic villages you should visit:
Lac village: Lac village has a long history, over 700 years old. This is home to Black Thai ethnic people lived mainly by rice cultivation and weaving. Currently, there are nearly 30 homestays – stilt houses, large and clean for tourists to stay. Coming to Lac village, tourists can visit the market in the center with many interesting local products, enjoy bamboo cooked rice, and experience the daily life of Thai ethnic people. At night, you will have a chance to listen traditional music and experience with bamboo dancing of Thai people.
Poom coong village: Pom Coong village is also home to Thai ethnic people who are well-known for traditional dancing. The stilted houses in Pom Coong village are often taller than other villages with very big size window so that they always create comfortable feeling for tourists. The water in the village is very pure and clean. Like Lac village, Pom Coong village is also famous for Thai dancing and ethnic souvenirs. By the way, all guesthouses in the villages offer food for breakfast, lunch and dinner at quite reasonable prices and varying standards.
Thung Khe Pass: this is a great place for tourists to take photos. From the pass, the tourists can see the overall beauty of Mai Chau valley.
Besides, enjoying “Com Lam” (bamboo cooked rice) and watching the Thai girl to sing and dance are also the interesting things to do in the beautiful valley.
Homestay with stilt house is the best accommodation in Mai Chau. You can stay at stilt houses in Lac village or Pom Coong village with the cost of 50,000 – 80,000 VND/night if you share rooms with others. For private stilt houses, you can ask the host to get the best price.